Teaser Vid Heralds a New Mazda 3 and a New Way to Burn Gasoline

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
teaser vid heralds a new mazda 3 em and em a new way to burn gasoline

“A new era begins” in November, Mazda’s YouTube video announces, but the automaker is likely referring to more than just the car seen in the teaser.

The next-generation Mazda 3, snippets of which can be seen in both hatchback and sedan form, will be joined by a new gasoline engine that’s far more monumental than any revamped compact car.

As you can see from the link, there’s not to actually see, though the hatch’s severely sloped rear calls to mind the brand’s Kai concept, released last year. It was assumed at the time that the Kai would serve as inspiration for the 2019 Mazda 3. In the video’s side-on peek, the new vehicle’s flanks appear not quite as featureless; however, it’s clear the highly accentuated fender bulges of years past will soon be a thing of the past.

The date listed in the video points to a product unveiling at next month’s L.A. Auto Show, so that’s something to look forward to. This author, as well as other TTACers, remain fans of the current-gen 3 — specifically the 2.5-liter/six-speed GT version. It’s a fun little front-driver that enthusiastically and capably eats up twisty back roads, and its KODO design language earns two thumbs way up.

Whatever the 2019 model’s looks, the most radical change will lie under the hood. The new 3 serves as the first application of Mazda’s Spark Controlled Combustion Ignition (SPCCI) engine — a high-compression 2.0-liter four-cylinder that blends characteristics of both gasoline spark ignition and diesel compression ignition for greater efficiency and power.

To overcome inherent problems with gasoline compression ignition (temperature-related pre-ignition or lack of any ignition), Mazda kept a source of spark in the combustion chamber. It calls the new mill the Skyactiv-X.

Located in close proximity to the injector, the spark plug ignites only a small burst of fuel injected near the end of the compression stroke, right as the piston reaches the top of its travel. The resulting burn from this small, localized charge increases pressure in the cylinder, resulting in the combustion ignition of a pre-existing fuel-air mix that wasn’t concentrated enough to ignite on its own. This leads to a more diesel-like power signature and greater fuel efficiency.

Despite having a plan for electrification, Mazda remains of the few automakers without a hybrid or electric vehicle in its lineup. The investment in SPCCI was seen as a way of lengthening the gasoline engine’s lifespan while also making nice with the EPA. Assuming Mazda worked out all the bugs, the new tech stands to create a cheaper and less complex high-MPG vehicle.

[Images: Mazda/ YouTube]

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  • Rocketrodeo Rocketrodeo on Oct 18, 2018

    Engine tech reminds me a little of Honda's stratified charge CVCC engines. That was clean, efficient, no-catalytic-converter-needed wonder technology for the otherwise malaise-ish 1970s. Wonder why Honda never followed up on those.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Oct 22, 2018

    I certainly hope we get an electric Mazda with rotary range extender. Great application for a smooth, compact rotary. Of course, rotaries are neither clean-burning nor fuel-efficient, so the car would be green only on battery power, so hopefully they could wedge enough battery in there for 70-150 miles on EV.

  • Tassos The EQS is the best looking BEV, better than even the only Tesla I would ever consider (the S) and more luxurious inside etc etcThe self driving features will come in handy when I'm 110 and my eyesight and reaction times start to suffer.But that's four decades away, and only Tim recommends 40 year old "used cars"
  • Tassos "Baby, Baby light my fire!""Oh God please give me a Kia Forte" --Janis Joplin
  • Tassos The fugly looks of any Subaru, and especially the non-sporty non-elegant, fugly, low-rent looks and interior of the WRX are alone a sufficient turnoff to never want to own one.One can be a 100% car enthusiast but ALSO demand a beautiful AND luxurious vehicle one can be truly proud of and which makes one very happy every time one drives it.The above is obviously totally foreign to Subaru Designers and managers.Αnd who cares if they sell all they make? this is 100% worthless bragging, since they hardly make ANY. ALL of Subaru's models together, all dozen of them, sell less than the top selling Toyota or Honda or even Tesla sells. ANd furthermore, if you have the intellectual horsepower to understand it, bulldude, which I am 99% sure you sure as hell do not, it is NOT about the sales units, it is not even about the sales revenue.It is all about the P R O F I T S.Am I going slow enough for you, bulldude?
  • Thehyundaigarage Am I the only one that sees a Peugeot 508?
  • Lou_BC I realized it wasn't EV's burning by the absence of the usual suspects.